• Antibiotic resistance in foodborne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Walsh, Ciara (Teagasc, 2005-02)
      Wide-spread antibiotic resistance among bacterial pathogens is now a serious public health issue and multi-antibiotic resistance has been reported in many foodborne pathogens including Salmonella and E. coli.
    • Automated detection and characterisation of foodborne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; O'Hanlon, Karen; Catarame, Terese; Smyth, Davida; McCann, Máiréad (Teagasc, 2007-06)
      This study focused on the development of molecular tools for the rapid detection and characterisation of food-borne pathogens including Verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC) (serotypes O157, O26 and O111) and Salmonella spp. The study involved the development of enrichment systems and the identification of unique genetic targets in these pathogens which could be amplified and detected by Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
    • Comparative analysis of Salmonella susceptibility and tolerance to the biocide chlorhexidine identifies a complex cellular defense network

      Condell, Orla; Power, Karen A.; Handler, Kristian; Finn, Sarah; Sheridan, Aine; Sergeant, Kjell; Renaut, Jenny; Burgess, Catherine M.; Hinton, Jay C.D.; Nally, Jarlath E.; Fanning, Seamus (Frontiers Media SA, 2014-08-01)
      Chlorhexidine is one of the most widely used biocides in health and agricultural settings as well as in the modern food industry. It is a cationic biocide of the biguanide class. Details of its mechanism of action are largely unknown. The frequent use of chlorhexidine has been questioned recently, amidst concerns that an overuse of this compound may select for bacteria displaying an altered susceptibility to antimicrobials, including clinically important anti-bacterial agents. We generated a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium isolate (ST24CHX) that exhibited a high-level tolerant phenotype to chlorhexidine, following several rounds of in vitro selection, using sub-lethal concentrations of the biocide. This mutant showed altered suceptibility to a panel of clinically important antimicrobial compounds. Here we describe a genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and phenotypic analysis of the chlorhexidine tolerant S. Typhimurium compared with its isogenic sensitive progenitor. Results from this study describe a chlorhexidine defense network that functions in both the reference chlorhexidine sensitive isolate and the tolerant mutant. The defense network involved multiple cell targets including those associated with the synthesis and modification of the cell wall, the SOS response, virulence, and a shift in cellular metabolism toward anoxic pathways, some of which were regulated by CreB and Fur. In addition, results indicated that chlorhexidine tolerance was associated with more extensive modifications of the same cellular processes involved in this proposed network, as well as a divergent defense response involving the up-regulation of additional targets such as the flagellar apparatus and an altered cellular phosphate metabolism. These data show that sub-lethal concentrations of chlorhexidine induce distinct changes in exposed Salmonella, and our findings provide insights into the mechanisms of action and tolerance to this biocidal agent.
    • Control and detection of food-borne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Cloak, Orla; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, 1998-08)
      The objective of this study was to develop rapid methods for the detection of bacteria from food.
    • Effect of exposure to Neospora caninum, Salmonella, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo on the economic performance of Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, Eugene; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L.; Shalloo, Laurence (Elsevier, 2015-02-20)
      The objective of the current study was to quantify the effects of exposure to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo (L. hardjo) on dairy farm profitability and to simulate the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on dairy farm profitability. The production effects associated with exposure to each of these pathogens in study herds were defined under 3 categories: (1) milk production effects, (2) reproduction effects (including culling), and (3) mortality effects. The production effects associated with exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were incorporated into the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model. In the analysis, herds negative for exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were assumed baseline herds, with all results presented relative to this base. In simulations examining the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on farm profitability, vaccinated herds (vaccination costs included) were considered as baseline herds and results were presented relative to this base. Total annual profits in unvaccinated herds were reduced by €77.31, €94.71, and €112.11 per cow at milk prices of €0.24, €0.29, and €0.34/L, respectively, as a result of exposure to Salmonella. In the current study, herds positive for exposure to Salmonella recorded a 316-kg reduction in milk yield, whereas no association was detected between exposure to N. caninum or L. hardjo and milk production. Exposure to both N. caninum and L. hardjo was associated with compromised reproductive performance. Herds positive for exposure to N. caninum and Salmonella had greater rates of adult cow mortality and calf mortality, respectively. Vaccination for both Salmonella and L. hardjo was associated with improved performance in study herds. Exposure to N. caninum resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €11.55, €12, and €12.44 per cow at each milk price, whereas exposure to L. hardjo resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €13.83, €13.78, and €13.72 per cow at each milk price. Herds that tested positive for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo were compared with herds vaccinated for the respective pathogens. Herds vaccinated for Salmonella generated €67.09, €84.48, and €101.89 per cow more profit at each milk price compared with herds positive for exposure. Similarly, herds vaccinated for L. hardjo generated €9.74, €9.69, and €9.63 per cow more profit compared with unvaccinated exposed herds. However, herds that tested negative for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo generated additional profits of €10.22 and €4.09 per cow, respectively, compared with vaccinated baseline herds.
    • Effect of exposure to Neospora caninum, Salmonella, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo on the economic performance of Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, E.; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L.; Shalloo, Laurence (Elsevier Inc and American Dairy Science Association, 2015-02-20)
      The objective of the current study was to quantify the effects of exposure to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar Hardjo (L. hardjo) on dairy farm profitability and to simulate the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on dairy farm profitability. The production effects associated with exposure to each of these pathogens in study herds were defined under 3 categories: (1) milk production effects, (2) reproduction effects (including culling), and (3) mortality effects. The production effects associated with exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were incorporated into the Moorepark Dairy Systems Model. In the analysis, herds negative for exposure to Salmonella, N. caninum, and L. hardjo were assumed baseline herds, with all results presented relative to this base. In simulations examining the effect of vaccination for Salmonella and L. hardjo on farm profitability, vaccinated herds (vaccination costs included) were considered as baseline herds and results were presented relative to this base. Total annual profits in unvaccinated herds were reduced by €77.31, €94.71, and €112.11 per cow at milk prices of €0.24, €0.29, and €0.34/L, respectively, as a result of exposure to Salmonella. In the current study, herds positive for exposure to Salmonella recorded a 316-kg reduction in milk yield, whereas no association was detected between exposure to N. caninum or L. hardjo and milk production. Exposure to both N. caninum and L. hardjo was associated with compromised reproductive performance. Herds positive for exposure to N. caninum and Salmonella had greater rates of adult cow mortality and calf mortality, respectively. Vaccination for both Salmonella and L. hardjo was associated with improved performance in study herds. Exposure to N. caninum resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €11.55, €12, and €12.44 per cow at each milk price, whereas exposure to L. hardjo resulted in a reduction in annual farm profits of €13.83, €13.78, and €13.72 per cow at each milk price. Herds that tested positive for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo were compared with herds vaccinated for the respective pathogens. Herds vaccinated for Salmonella generated €67.09, €84.48, and €101.89 per cow more profit at each milk price compared with herds positive for exposure. Similarly, herds vaccinated for L. hardjo generated €9.74, €9.69, and €9.63 per cow more profit compared with unvaccinated exposed herds. However, herds that tested negative for exposure to Salmonella and L. hardjo generated additional profits of €10.22 and €4.09 per cow, respectively, compared with vaccinated baseline herds.
    • Hygiene and safety of Irish beef carcasses.

      Kerr, Marie; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2002-10)
      Investigations were carried out in a number of beef abattoirs in Ireland. Information was obtained on the hygienic status of the carcasses being produced and also on their safety, using the presence of Salmonella as an indicator. The data showed that, in general, the hygiene of the carcasses being produced was of a satisfactory quality and that faecal contamination was low, as indicated by the coliform and E. coli counts. The safety of the carcasses as indicated by the presence of Salmonella was considered to be a cause for concern. The level of contamination by this pathogen of 7.6% was considered to be high and requires investigation. The majority of the Salmonella present on carcasses was S. typhimurium DT104, which is resistant to a range of antibodies. The work was part of an EU project and some results are presented from other partners.
    • Irish domestic food safety knowledge, practice and microbiology with particular emphasis on staphylococcus aureus

      Bolton, Declan J.; Kennedy, Jean; Cowan, Cathal (Teagasc, 2005-06)
      This study examined consumer food safety knowledge on the island of Ireland. Domestic refrigerators were tested for the presence of a range of pathogenic bacteria. The effect of refrigerated storage on the antibiotic resistance and thermal resistance of S . aureus were also investigated. Irish consumers displayed a considerable lack of knowledge about correct refrigeration temperatures and proper hygiene procedures to prevent crosscontamination in the kitchen. Domestic refrigerators were contaminated with a range of bacterial pathogens including S . aureus (41%), S almonella spp. (7%), E scherichia. coli (6%), L isteria monocytogenes (6%) and Y ersinia enterocolitica (2%). Viewing Options
    • Management practices as risk factors for the presence of bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, E.; Berry, Donagh P.; O'Grady, L.; Sayers, Riona (Cambridge University Press, 2014-03-24)
      A survey of management practices in 309 Irish dairy herds was used to identify risk factors for the presence of antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in extensively managed unvaccinated dairy herds. A previous study documented a herd-level seroprevalence in bulk milk of 49%, 19% and 86% for Salmonella, Neospora caninum and leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, respectively in the unvaccinated proportion of these 309 herds in 2009. Association analyses in the present study were carried out using multiple logistic regression models. Herds where cattle were purchased or introduced had a greater likelihood of being positive to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.01) and Salmonella (P<0.01). Larger herds had a greater likelihood of recording a positive bulk milk antibody result to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.05). Herds that practiced year round calving were more likely to be positive to Neospora caninum (P<0.05) compared to herds with a spring-calving season, with no difference in risk between herds that practiced split calving compared to herds that practiced spring calving. No association was found between presence of dogs on farms and prevalence of Neospora caninum possibly due to limited access of dogs to infected materials including afterbirths. The information from this study will assist in the design of suitable control programmes for the diseases under investigation in pasture-based livestock systems.
    • Management practices as risk factors for the presence of bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, Eugene; Berry, Donagh P.; O'Grady, L.; Sayers, Riona (Cambridge University Press, 2014-03-24)
      A survey of management practices in 309 Irish dairy herds was used to identify risk factors for the presence of antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in extensively managed unvaccinated dairy herds. A previous study documented a herd-level seroprevalence in bulk milk of 49%, 19% and 86% for Salmonella, Neospora caninum and leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, respectively in the unvaccinated proportion of these 309 herds in 2009. Association analyses in the present study were carried out using multiple logistic regression models. Herds where cattle were purchased or introduced had a greater likelihood of being positive to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.01) and Salmonella (P<0.01). Larger herds had a greater likelihood of recording a positive bulk milk antibody result to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.05). Herds that practiced year round calving were more likely to be positive to Neospora caninum (P<0.05) compared to herds with a spring-calving season, with no difference in risk between herds that practiced split calving compared to herds that practiced spring calving. No association was found between presence of dogs on farms and prevalence of Neospora caninum possibly due to limited access of dogs to infected materials including afterbirths. The information from this study will assist in the design of suitable control programmes for the diseases under investigation in pasture-based livestock systems.
    • Routine diagnostic tests for food-borne pathogens

      Duffy, Geraldine; Kilbride, Brendan; Fitzmaurice, Justine; Sheridan, James J. (Teagasc, 2001-01)
      Rapid techniques were developed and applied to the determination of total viable bacteria and to the detection of food borne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni and E. coli O157:H7). The method developed for total viable counts is based on membrane filtration and fluorescent staining and the technique can be performed and a result obtained within 20 min. The results correlate well with the standard plate count and the technique is now being implemented in Irish food factories.
    • Temporal trends in bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, Eugene; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L. (Elsevier, 2012-10-29)
      Bulk milk samples were collected from 309 Irish dairy herds at four time points during 2009 and tested for antibodies to Salmonella spp., N. caninum, and L. hardjo, three abortifacient agents in Irish dairy herds. Of the 312 study herds, 49% vaccinated against Salmonella and 76% vaccinated against L. hardjo. In unvaccinated herds, the overall prevalence of antibody positive herds was 49% for Salmonella, 19% for N. caninum and 86% for L. hardjo. There was no association between both testing positive for and incidence of Salmonella or L. hardjo on sample date and calving season. A significant association was found between sample date and both testing positive for [p = <0.0001 OR = 2.41 (95% CI 1.54–3.80)] and incidence [p = 0.001 OR = 3.10 (95% CI 1.72–5.57)] of N. caninum. No association with region of Ireland was found for either testing positive for or incidence of N. caninum, or L. hardjo. There was however a tendency towards a higher incidence of Salmonella in regions of Ireland with higher cattle densities.
    • Temporal trends in bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

      O'Doherty, E.; Sayers, Riona; O'Grady, L. (Elsevier, 2012-10-29)
      Bulk milk samples were collected from 309 Irish dairy herds at four time points during 2009 and tested for antibodies to Salmonella spp., N. caninum, and L. hardjo, three abortifacient agents in Irish dairy herds. Of the 312 study herds, 49% vaccinated against Salmonella and 76% vaccinated against L. hardjo. In unvaccinated herds, the overall prevalence of antibody positive herds was 49% for Salmonella, 19% for N. caninum and 86% for L. hardjo. There was no association between both testing positive for and incidence of Salmonella or L. hardjo on sample date and calving season. A significant association was found between sample date and both testing positive for [p = <0.0001 OR = 2.41 (95% CI 1.54–3.80)] and incidence [p = 0.001 OR = 3.10 (95% CI 1.72–5.57)] of N. caninum. No association with region of Ireland was found for either testing positive for or incidence of N. caninum, or L. hardjo. There was however a tendency towards a higher incidence of Salmonella in regions of Ireland with higher cattle densities.
    • Tracking of Salmonella through the Pork Slaughter Process

      Prendergast, Deirdre M.; Duggan, Sharon J.; Duffy, Geraldine; Downey, Gerard (Teagasc, 2009-10-01)
      To help address the problem of salmonellosis in the Republic of Ireland (RoI), a national Salmonella control programme was introduced in 1997 with a view to reducing the prevalence of Salmonella in pigs on the farm and on pig carcasses. The primary objective of this present study was to determine the correlation between the Salmonella serological and bacteriological status of pigs presented for slaughter and the Salmonella status of pork cuts following slaughter, dressing and chilling. Two additional studies investigated the prevalence and numbers of Salmonella spp. in the boning halls of four commercial pork abattoirs and at retail level in butcher shops and supermarkets in the RoI. The results indicated that categorisation of pig herds on the basis of a historical serological test for Salmonella was not a good predictor of the bacteriological Salmonella status of individual pigs at time of slaughter. However, it is acknowledged that serological testing does help in giving a rough estimate of the overall Salmonella status of a pig herd. There was a linear correlation between prevalence of Salmonella in caecal contents and on pork cuts at factory level; therefore, if the number of herds presented for slaughter with high levels of Salmonella (category 3) was reduced, there would be less potential for contamination of the lairage, equipment etc. and so less likelihood of Salmonella contamination on pork. The impact of crosscontamination during transport, lairage, processing and distribution cannot be ignored and measures to diminish this would significantly reduce the dissemination of Salmonella in the chain and the consequent risk posed. A key finding was the considerable variation in the incidence of Salmonella on different sampling days and in different slaughter plants.